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State Rep. Tyrone Brooks indicted on fraud, tax charges

10:44 PM, May 17, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A federal grand jury has indicted State Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) on charges that he misappropriated nearly $1 million in charitable funds from Universal Humanities and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.

"This is a disappointing day. Representative Brooks has done much good in his life, both as a state legislator and civil rights leader. But the indictment charges that over many years, Representative Brooks misappropriated nearly one million dollars in charitable donations intended to provide literacy training in underserved communities, and from GABEO - the organization for which he has served as president since 1993. Sadly, by diverting these funds to his own use, Representative Brooks deprived those most in need of critical assistance," said US Attorney Sally Yates in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Brooks was charged by a federal grand jury in a 30 count indictment including charges of mail, wire and tax fraud. The indictment charges that from the mid 90s through 2012, Brooks solicited contributions from individuals and corporate donors to combat illiteracy and fund other charitable causes, but instead, used the funds to pay personal expenses.

The indictment says that Brooks solicited funds for a tax-exempt charity created by Brooks in the early 90s, Universal Humanities between 1995 and 2012, but that Brooks used the donations to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.

The federal indictment says a second, but related scheme, says that Brooks diverted charitable donations on behalf of GABEO were also diverted to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.

According to the indictment, Brooks substantially underreported his income to the IRS for the years 2007 through 2011. It said that despite the misappropriation of funds from Universal Humanities and GABEO, Brooks reported income of only $35,000 annually.

The mail and wire fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The tax charges carry a maximum fine of 3 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

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